A quick check of Webster’s reveals that the phrase “Grand Cru” has many connotations, such as “first harvest” or “estate reserve.” In wine circles it can be thought of as a synonym for “Our Best.” At BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse we think of Grand Cru as our annual celebration of beer that epitomizes everything about brewing at BJ’s.
BJ’s Grand Cru was first brewed to commemorate the turn of the century. Back in December of 1999 we referred to it as “BJ’s Millennium Grand Cru” and tapped this beer on New Year’s 2000 to usher in a new century. What made this beer special was that it was a collaboration between the entire brewing team at BJ’s, with everyone either adding an ingredient or otherwise modifying the recipe. The finished beer was so overwhelmingly acclaimed that we have reproduced a special beer every year since. What has remained constant is that we always try to deliver something unique, dynamic and memorable as a way for us as brewers to celebrate along with the lovers of BJ’s handcrafted beer.
Things to look for as a constant in this beer are our nod toward the artisans of Belgian brewing, and each year the Belgian yeast in this unfiltered beer is a big part of the flavor profile. Careful additions of rich botanicals not only contribute flavor and aromatics, but serve to balance not only the malt and hop character but the warmth of the higher levels of alcohol as well.
This is definitely a sipping beer; one that continues to change and evolve in the glass as it continues to warm and breathe in the hand. BJ’s Grand Cru is not a beer to be rushed, but one to be particularly savored and enjoyed. So much so that each year this beer has its own commemorative glass that accentuates the flavors of this one of a kind beer. From the Brewing Team at BJ’s, thank you, and welcome to 2011!